Former Pirate ace A.J. Burnett inks $16 million deal.
After contemplating retirement or a return to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the club he was with for the past two seasons, starting pitcher A.J. Burnett decided to test the free agent waters. According to various reports, Burnett will become a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The deal is for one year and worth a reported $16 million. With that, the Phillies currently have $171.7MM in salaries committed for the 2014 season.
The announcement of the Burnett signing could not have come at a better time. Moments before, it was announced that Cole Hamels, who is recovery from shoulder tendinitis, is behind in his throwing schedule and will most likely not be ready come Opening Day. This is according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly. Hamels is a little over a week away from even throwing a bullpen session. It won’t be until after that session is over that Hamels can be further evaluated.
Over the past two seasons as a Pirate, Burnett posted a record of 26-21 in 61 starts. His ERA was 3.41 and his WHIP was 1.228. Last season, Burnett led all qualified starters with a 9.8 SO/9. That should serve him well as he heads to a pretty hitter-friendly venue. At Citizens Bank Park, Burnett’s only made 8 appearances (7 starts), but in those appearances, his record is level at 3-3. The ERA is 4.71 while the WHIP is 1.333. This is only 42+ innings of pitching.
According to Fangraphs, CBP rated a 101 park factor for 2013. PNC Park in Pittsburgh rated a 97. In comparing HR, CBP rated 105 and PNC was 90. Burnett was susceptible to the big fly while in New York (HR/9 of 1.2 over three seasons). Not so much in Pittsburgh (HR/9 of 0.7). Let’s see how he handles Philly now.
UPDATE: A few minutes after publishing, I couldn’t help but notice this tweet…
Phillies at Pirates July 4-6
— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) February 12, 2014